Tag Archives: tattoo

The secrets behind the posterchild of regret: the tattoo.

It took me a long time to finally convince myself to get a tattoo. It wasn’t the potential for it being an overwhelmingly painful experience, but the stigma of having a tattoo on one’s body and the risks associated with it that held me back for so many years. The risks of tattooing are relatively common knowledge: the potential of infection, blood-borne illness, and life-altering regret. What fascinated me, however, was exactly how tattooing works.


Retrieved from “www.tattoo-school-thailand.com”. Click to view source.

The process of tattooing, regardless of its method of application, involves ink particles penetrating the epidermis (surface layer) and settling in the deeper dermis layer of the skin. The dermis layer is filled with blood vessels, nerves, and glands and is not prone to the same shedding activity as the epidermis. Due to the nature of application, the body immediately begins to treat the new tattoo as a wound and activates the body’s inflammatory response. White blood cells called macrophages  attempt to engulf the offending ink to dispose of it as foreign material. Some manage to consume the ink and carry it away from the tattoo (which is one of the reasons your tattoo will fade over time) and some consume the ink and stay in the tattoo. Scientists also claim that some ink particles are too large to be consumed by the macrophages, so they rest in the dermis. Surrounding skin cells will also absorb the ink and pass it on to other skin cells when they die. Over a period of 2-4 weeks, the damaged epithelial skin peels away like a sunburn revealing the healed tattoo that should remain there for the rest of your life.


Healing tattoo retrieved from “www.flickr.com/creativecommons”.

This slow motion video of the tattooing process visually demonstrates the process of tattooing. YouTube Preview Image

This video elaborates on why tattoos are permanent.
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After all of that research, I ended up getting a tattoo symbolizing my cat beneath my right ankle.


My fresh tattoo. Notice how bruised and swollen it is.


My healed tattoo. Notice how much the colours have reduced in intensity.

To be honest, I think knowing exactly what was going on in my skin made it hurt more, but it made the experience that much more exciting.
Alex Focken



Don’t worry, you can still look beautiful even if you are late for class.

Did you have an experience when your pretty classmate came late in the morning class and you did not recognize her? Please do not blame her for looking different. Women usually take at least 10 minutes to do makeup; however, if they wake up late, there are only two choices: give up on makeup or be really late on class or work. I am sure that most of the women have thought of this at least once, “uh, I am too lazy to do my makeup and remove it at the end of the day.”

There is one solution for that: permanent makeup. Your eyeliner will not smudge even when you cry unexpectedly, your eyebrow will stay at the pool party and your lip colour will stay vibrant even after you ate hamburger. If you cannot give up on your eyebrow and your eyeliner, but it is hard to wake up 10 minutes early, think about getting a permanent makeup. You can sleep 10 more minutes but still look great with your perfect looking (permanent) makeup.


Before and After the permanent makeup. Source: Click on the image will lead to flickr

Permanent makeup is also called micro pigmentation, which is a skill used for tattoo. Perhaps, the steps for getting a permanent makeup are very similar to the procedures for getting a tattoo. Permanent makeup has some good effects on people. For example, it gives hope to people who have lost their natural brows by disease such as alopecia totalis or accidents. Also, women would not have to worry everyday about drawing asymmetrical, two totally different looking eyebrows.

Eyebrow permanent makeup process. Source: Click on image will lead to flickr

However, there are many side effects for this makeup. According to CNN, the permanent ink that is used for eyeliner, lip color, or eyebrow may cause allergies, swelling, cracking, peeling, blistering, scarring, infection or granulomas. These reactions can be severe and hard to recover. FDA states that it has not administered the pigments used for tattoo or permanent makeup, but it did restrain some of the pigments that were reported to have side effects. Also, since permanent makeup is similar to tattoo, it cannot be removed easily. You would have to think carefully about the shape and the colour before you get it done. Moreover, permanent makeup is quite costly, so if you are okay with waking up a bit early and getting your makeup done, you might want to do that. However, if you do get permanent makeup, you will not need any extra makeup products, so you can save money. After all, it is fully up to you. Would you try getting a permanent makeup even though you know all those side effects?

Here is a video from a technician, Tracy Fensome. She shows the procedure for the lips permanent makeup.

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Michelle ShinHwo Bak